DURHAM is the easiest city in the UK for ‘second steppers’ to climb onto the next rung of the property ladder, an online estate agency has suggested after analysing Land Registry data.
Looking at terraced and semi-detached properties only, Housesimple found that in Durham, the reach from a flat to a house would cost second steppers in the city an average of £23,318.
Meanwhile, three locations in Yorkshire – Doncaster (£29,297), Bradford (£29,418) and Hull (£30,380) – feature in the agency’s top 10 list of most affordable towns for second steppers, as do three in the North West: Blackburn (£28,207), Oldham (£29,897) and Liverpool (£31,011).
Not surprisingly, London is the worst city for second steppers, with the average price differential between the first and second rungs of the property ladder, an eye-watering £343,134. The university cities of Oxford and Cambridge also feature in the top five worst areas.
“While we’re seeing a positive trend with more first-time buyers getting onto the property ladder, second steppers – primarily those upsizing from a flat to a terraced or semi-detached house – still face a major jump to transition from a starter home to their family home,” said Sam Mitchell, Housesimple’s chief executive.
“Despite Government commitments to building more stock, family homes remain at a premium. The problem is particularly acute in London and the south of England, where the gap for second steppers can feel more like a chasm. As a result, second steppers migration from London has always been a major driver of house price inflation in commuter towns in the home counties and increasingly as far afield as areas of the south-west.
“Things look brighter for those living or heading North, where house prices, although on the up, are still in affordable territory. And with healthy local economies in Northern cities like Leeds, Sheffield, Liverpool and Manchester, the wealth of job opportunities are attracting homeowners who are looking for a fresh start, a better quality of life, and buying a family home is not just a pipe dream.”
Housesimple investigated the challenges faced by first-time homeowners looking to move up the ladder, by analysing the average price of a flat and house today compared to a decade ago, in 100 major UK towns and cities, to see how the price differential has changed.
In 2008, the step-up in price from a flat to a terraced or semi-detached house was, on average, £37,225. Today, the price differential between the first and second rungs has more than doubled (102.5%) it claims, increasing by £38,000, in 10 years.
When detached properties were also included in the average price of a house, second steppers would be looking at an average cost of £133,122, to climb onto the next rung of the ladder.
If the gap between the first and second rungs of the property ladder continues to widen at its current rate, by 2028, second steppers could be looking at an average £150,000 to jump up to the next rung.